Though all of the theme parks in Central Florida have reopened, attendance levels have been very low over the summer, and unfortunately that has hit theme park operators in Central Florida very hard, which has caused several cuts, including the closure of three hotels at Universal Orlando Resort, the shutdown of several Universal in-park attractions, and a yearlong closure of Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. And unfortunately, it looks like more cuts have come to Central Florida theme parks in the form of staffing cuts at SeaWorld and Universal.
Late Friday SeaWorld confirmed that it is permanently laying off some of the employees it had temporarily furloughed in an effort to reduce operating expenses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing the following statement:
Due to the sudden and unforseeable economic impacts of the pandemic on the Company's business operations, that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time of the temporary furlough, the Company has determined that it will transition certain park and corporate personnel from a furloughed status to a permanent layoff
Earlier in the week, Universal confirmed that 1,291 Team Members at Universal Orlando hotels were facing layoffs or temporary layoffs as the hotels there ratchet down operations in anticipation of a very slow fall season now that the annual Halloween Horror Nights event has been cancelled. Universal did not release an official statement about this latest round of layoffs.
Unfortunately there is no way to know how long these theme parks will continue to downsize, as it looks like the road to recovery may be longer than anticipated in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.